Johnson pledges to back Nato candidates

Reacting to Helsinki's fears of a reaction by Russia in response to its desire to join Nato, Britain has promised to provide military support to Finland and Sweden in the event of an attack. Europe's press comments.

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Helsingin Sanomat (FI) /

Different tones but a common goal

The fact that London has traditionally taken a harder line towards Moscow than Helsinki suits Finland just fine, at least for now, Helsingin Sanomat comments:

“Britain has assumed a central role in showing Russia that Nato will not tolerate interference with accession candidates. ... Britain has a difficult relationship with Russia. Finland, on the other hand, is also working within Nato to keep the channels to Russia as open as possible. This is unlikely to lead to major divergences. At the moment, Johnson's hard line on Russia is actually very convenient for Finland.”

The Daily Telegraph (GB) /

The sooner the better

The Daily Telegraph makes the case for swift admission:

“A decision ... reflecting the geopolitical upheaval caused by an invasion carried out ostensibly to stop Ukraine joining Nato, even though such an eventuality was seen as improbable. Now all states within Russia’s malign orbit will be concerned for their security if they are outside the alliance. ... Given what we have seen in Ukraine, Nato should expedite their requests to accede. They are entirely compatible with membership and will bring significant expertise to the bloc.”

Aftonbladet (SE) /

Without the war, Johnson would no longer be PM

Johnson is scoring points in the area of foreign policy at a time when domestic scandals could have brought him down, Aftonbladet notes:

“In ordinary political times, such a scandal would have toppled a prime minister. But since Russia invaded Ukraine at the end of February, we no longer live in an ordinary political reality. And the British prime minister with his rumpled suits and tussled blonde hair is no ordinary politician. Now he's touring the countries that aspire to join Nato to ensure peace and security. The war in Ukraine seems to have given Boris Johnson a new lease of political life.”